6 states apprise SC of steps taken to appoint Lokayukta

The Supreme Court took on record the steps taken by six states -- Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Manipur, Mizoram, West Bengal and Nagaland -- for appointing anti-graft ombudsman, Lokayukta.

All the six states apprised a bench headed by the Chief Justice through affidavits about the progress made by them.

Nagaland government, which on October 31 last gave an undertaking before the apex court that it would appoint the state Lokayukta within three months, said former high court judge, Justice Uma Nath Singh has already started functioning as the state's Lokayukta.

Taking on record the submission, the bench, also comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna, asked Nagaland government to inform it within three months about the action taken by the Lokayukta.

The apex court, which was hearing a petition filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay for appointment of Lokayukta in every state, granted search committee for Tamil Nadu government three months to complete shortlisting of the persons for appointment of ombudsman.

The Odisha government informed the bench that the Lokayukta will take charge in the state on April 8.

Its counsel submitted that the selection process of Lokayukta will be completed by March 31 and it will start functioning from April 8.

West Bengal Government told the bench that it has already appointed former high court judge, Justice Ashim Kumar Roy as the Lokayukta of the state.

Manipur government sought two months more to complete the exercise of asppointing the ombudsman.

Mizoram Government also said it neededa little more time in this regard.